5 Most Beautiful Things, Awe & Wonder, beauty, Delight

Better Than Magic.

August 6, 2014

by Jen Pastiloff.

I watched this adorable old man cross the street by my house just now as I was running. It took him a lot time. He had a walker. I stopped running and waited for him.

“Can I ask you a question? What made you happy today?”


Me: Do you speak English? Where are you from?

Him: I am Armenian.

Me: What made you happy today?

He laughs. He’s got all his teeth.

Him: I don’t understand question.

Him: You make me smile.

Me: I do? That’s the question!! What made you smile today.

Me: How old are you?

Him: If you don’t count night times, I tell you.

Me: If I what? Come over at nighttime? (Being nearly deaf I can barely understand him with his Armenian accent and the traffic. We’re standing on a street corner.)

“If you don’t count night times, I tell you how old I am. I am 46”

“Come on. You’re not 46 years old.”

“I told you. If you don’t count night time while I am sleeping I am 46 years old.”

Him: Sometimes I take bus. Sometimes I walk. Walk better. I take deliberate action. My doctor says, “if you are suffering or crying, better to walk, better than magic.”

Me: Better than magic?

Him: Better than medicine! (Me. Deaf ears. Him, heavy accent.)

Me: Ok, if you’re crying it’s better to walk? Better than medicine? I like that.

Bus goes by.

Him: How old are you?

Me: 39.

Him: 39? My youngest daughter is 50 years old. I have 3 daughters.

Me: 50? That’s weird because you’re only 46.

Him: Walk. Walk better. Walk medicine.

Me: Walk medicine?

Him: Better than medicine, I said. Doctor fix one side, make worse other.

Him: My business. Earthquake. Took it down. I started my occupation in 1935. 1946 I came here in Santa Monica.

Me: What was your business?

Him: Tailor.

Me: Tailor? That’s why you dress so nice! (He’s got an argyle sweater and a Kangol hat on even though it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. He’s dressed to the nines, my new friend.

Him: My son. He’s a tailor.

He leans back on his walker on the corner like it’s a little chair. He tells me that he does yoga. Do I know yoga? he’s asking me. He has been doing it for twenty years, he says.

He tells me he is 92. I tell him I am a yoga teacher.

I’m just saying- people are the shit. Like, if you really talk to them. If you really look at them. I am going to do more walk medicine. It’s magic.



*Poster by SimpleReminders.com Pre-order their book: www.SimpleReminders.info Subscribe for more: www.bryantmcgill.net

part of my series where I stop people on the street and ask them "What made you happy today?" Which is really just an excuse to be a beauty hunter. And to connect.

part of my series where I stop people on the street and ask them “What made you happy today?” Which is really just an excuse to be a beauty hunter. And to connect.

Jennifer Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. She has been featured on Good Morning America, NY Magazine, Oprah.com. Her writing has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon. Jen leads her signature Manifestation Retreats & Workshops all over the world. The next retreat is to Ojai, Calif over Labor Day/New Years. She is also leading a groundbreaking Writing + The Body Retreat with author Lidia Yuknavitch Jan 31-Feb 1 in Ojai. Sign up for that retreat by emailing Jennifer at jenniferpastiloff dot com and putting “writing retreat” in subject line.

Next up: Atlanta, South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Miami, Tucson & The Berkshires (guest speaker Canyon Ranch.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.



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No Comments

  • Reply Barbara Potter August 6, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Love this makes me smile.

  • Reply coast3coast August 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    That is one of the best and coolest reads I’ve had in awhile… as good as it gets. Thanks for sharing !

  • Reply coast3coast August 6, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I love it. One of the best and coolest things I’ve read in awhile… as good as it gets. Thanks for sharing !

  • Reply jgroeber August 7, 2014 at 5:09 am

    What a gorgeously terrifying thing to do. And what a gift that conversation is. Thank you for sharing. I will carry it like a balloon with me all day.

  • Reply azahm1 August 7, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    I love this so much – I can’t even express how much. Thank you!

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